British Academics: Delay is the new Climate Denial

Climate Delay Reasons
Climate Delay Reasons. Source Discourses of Climate Delay.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

According to British academics, climate deniers have not gone away, they have just changed tactics.

Climate denial hasn’t gone away – here’s how to spot arguments for delaying climate action

July 30, 2020 7.10pm AEST

Stuart Capstick Research Fellow in Psychology, Cardiff University
Julia K. Steinberger Professor in Social Ecology and Ecological Economics, University of Leeds

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. 

The UK and many other rich countries have set ambitious targets for emissions cuts to tackle climate change, and have already made much headway in recent years. Further progress can be achieved while making sure that fossil fuels are used responsibly, and with promising new technology such as aircraft powered by batteries.

The UK should not do more though, while countries like China and the US continue to emit far more than we do. It’s hard to see why hard-working families should be denied simple pleasures either, like flying on foreign holidays.

In fact, why should we limit emissions at all, since the worst of climate change is already looking inevitable?

If these sorts of claims sound familiar – reasonable even – that’s because they are some of the most common ways of arguing for less ambition on tackling the climate crisis. Outright denial of climate change is becoming rarer, but is simply being replaced by more subtle ways of downplaying the need for urgent and far-reaching action.

In new research, we have identified what we call 12 “discourses of delay”. These are ways of speaking and writing about climate change that are commonly used by politicians, media commentators and industry spokespeople. Though they shy away from denying the reality of climate change, their effect on the collective effort to respond to it is no less corrosive.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/climate-denial-hasnt-gone-away-heres-how-to-spot-arguments-for-delaying-climate-action-141991

What must it be like trying to make a career in British academia these days?

What do Professors of Engineering do when climate activists demand they draw up plans for Britain’s conversion to renewables, on a timeframe and budget provided by the activists?

Any argument for delay or deviation from maximum climate effort, any questioning of methods or timescales could be taken as evidence you are a witch climate denier. The slightest hint of such heresy and you risk a demand from British academics that ye be silenced, lest your wrongthink spread amongst the common folk.

Climate Delay Reasons
Climate Delay Reasons – Modified, Evil Face Hilighted. Source Discourses of Climate Delay.

71 thoughts on “British Academics: Delay is the new Climate Denial

  1. The above discourse diagram does not show the denialist/ sceptic “delay” tactic of asking for better quantitative details.
    Alarmists say more floods and droughts.
    Sceptic asks more details.
    Alarmists refuse.

    • It doesn’t show a lot of things. It doesn’t show that “renewables” are more environmentally destructive for example. It doesn’t show that “renewables” need fossil fuels in their manufacture. These are certainly talking points – just ask Michael Moore. The reason they don’t include these in their straw man chart is because it will obliterate their arguments. It would be a spectacular own goal. It will be checkmate.

      • Climatophobic(?): Oh, look!!!! Lake MIchigan is flooding!!! We’re doomed!!! Doomed, I tell ya! It’s climate change!!! We’re doomed!!!

        Me: Umm, no, that’s the meltwater from 5 to 10 feet of snow over the entire length of last winter, running off the land into rivers that empty into Lake Michigan. The other Great Lakes have higher levels, too.

        Clmatophobic: But it’s climate change!!! We’ll all drown!!! (wrings hands hysterically, moans in agony)

        Me: Yeah, but you’re 10 miles from the shoreline and you live up on a hill, so how are you going to drown?

        Climatophobic: Eeeeeeekk!! You’re hurting my feewings!!! You’re an Unbeliever!!!!

        And so forth and so on. Don’t expect rational responses from any of them. And have a nice day, stock up for the winter, and enjoy whatever freedoms we do have now.

        • At least they haven’t claimed Sea Level Rise for the Great Lakes problems. But apparently climate change has the lakes at almost the same levels as 1918 when we were all driving SUVs around the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.

        • I’ve noticed a distinct difference in the levels at my part of the southern end of Lake Michigan since I moved up here in 2003. Last winter (2019-2020) Lake Michigan’s water level was higher than ever, flooding places that had not been flooded in decades. And when I took a drive up to the state line area (IL/WI) to see how things went at the northernmost part below the state line, the entire dunes area was flooded and the water surface level was HALFWAY up the beach, far higher than usual.
          That’s just one winter snowmelt season, so if we have that again, with deep, wet snows to the north, I expect to see it again and maybe worse. And I’ll get photos with it, too.
          Until a few years ago, I did not realize how far inland the Great Lakes’ square mileage was at the start of the last glacial meltback.
          Sometimes, I wish I’d gone into geology. But thenn people would call me Ms. Gotrocks. 🙂

    • We frequently see these kinds of articles from academics who don’t have the background to independently evaluate the alarmist claims. The unstated assumption is “If catastrophic global warming is an existential threat, then …” They are appealing to select authorities to justify their concern and prescriptive solutions. They don’t consider the alternative that the unstated assumption is false. Besides being unscientific, it is arrogant.

  2. Radicalized religious zealots talk the way Capstick and Steinberger do here.

    Climate Change is most truly a religion for those 2 supposedly academiaidiots lecturers. With research fellows and professors like these two gobs, it is no wonder we have the XR idiots the universities are producing, sad creatures unable to think for themselves.
    At this point Swedish secondary school drop-out Greta could get an honorary doctorate in Climate Change Theology . Well qualified, she could get hired to the Univ Leeds indoctrinating faculty.

    Then with her junk degree in Climate Lunacy, she could just spew nonsense, as long as it is the Climate Doctrine like these two idiots apparently like to hear themselves spew, and get a nice paycheck.

  3. “The UK should not do more though, while countries like China and the US continue to emit far more than we do. It’s hard to see why hard-working families should be denied simple pleasures either, like flying on foreign holidays.”

    The problem here is the trade linkage issue described by economists who are not deniers. The UN is no longer counting on a coordinated global effort for a global emission reduction target. Instead it is goading individual nations such as the UK to have something called “climate ambition” and thereby to create something called “climate momentum” that would somehow do the job of moderating the rate of warming. Yet, national emission reduction policies contain a fatal economics flaw.

    Climate action by an individual nation state will not lead to global emission reduction because its climate action plan will increase the economic cost of production and make the climate action nation less competitive in international trade and hand over a cost advantage to nations (such as China & the USA) that do not have a national climate action plan. The cost advantage of non-climate-action takers will cause their production and exports to rise by virtue of demand from climate action taking nations. The net result will be that economic activity and fossil fuel emissions will decline in climate action taking nations but with a corresponding rise in economic activity and fossil fuel emissions in non-climate-action taking nations. It is not likely that in the net there will be global emission reduction.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/05/22/climate-catch22/

    The other issue is that the attribution of the horrors of climate change impacts that are supposed to motivate climate action contain methodological errors because they tend to be of an insufficient time span as well ass being localized and not global. As for example, the recent alarm about melt ponds on the Greenland Ice Sheet in July 2020.

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/08/02/greenland-melting-alarm-of-2020/

    A more comprehensive evaluation of climate denial by the British press is described here

    https://tambonthongchai.com/2020/07/31/4-types-of-climate-denier/

  4. It’s amazing how supposedly intelligent people have deluded themselves into thinking there is a climate crisis. That, or they’re just plain liars. Heck, let’s go with both.

    • They never were intelligent, they well just well studied as required to pass a preset view and graduate.

  5. “What do Professors of Engineering do when climate activists demand they draw up plans for Britain’s conversion to renewables, ”
    You don’t have to be around academics very long, even professors of engineering, to realise that very few of them actually understand how the system works at even an overview level. There are notable exceptions to this, but concepts like droop, inertia and voltage control are beyond most of them.

  6. They forgot to mention that only “solutions” that can’t possibly work are allowed. Pointing out the fact that renewables will never provide reliable power on demand makes you a denier despite being true. Nuclear power is a proven emission free power source that would go a long way toward mitigating the alleged problem, I must be a denier for pointing this out.

    • Reliable power is a non-issue if you lower people’s living standards low enough.

      Did you not follow that requirement in the indoctrination?

      • Everything is a non-issue if you lower people’s educational level low enough. That is what AGW elites and academia want: believe, stop asking questions and stop thinking about it. They know what the best is for everyone: a totalitarian Marxist green dictatorship.

    • Well, Stonyground, et al., if you learn how to cook at an open fire in a Rumsford-type fireplace, with an oven cavity on the side for baking stuff like bread and bettys (puddings) and potatoes, never mind keep your homes lit by oil lamps, you’ll always be warm, won’t go hungry, and always have light to read by.

      Unfortunately, you won’t have TV, internet, phones, sewer lines, or garbage pickup, but The They won’t have it, either.

      Good idea to buy those 18th century cookbooks that are back in print again, just in case. Oh, and if you’re going to build a house with a kitchen fireplace** for cooking, make sure it’s a properly-built Rumford type, so that it drafts correctly and gives you room to cook your food.
      **Closed stoves for cooking were late 18th to early 19th century and were considered a luxury item.

      Those were the days, my friend,
      We thought they’d never end,
      When we all had electric lights and phones.

  7. I would think that the actions of China are totally relevant in arguing whether action on climate change Is worthwhile. The Chinese failure to take any measures , such that even if you thought something needs to be done by everyone else, means that the actions of all other countries is an exercise in futility.

  8. It’s not possible to mitigate climate change – surrender

    No, we accept the things we cannot change, climate change for example.

    Your side must surrender to the fact that man-made emissions have never changed the climate, and never will, in spite of your manipulative rhetoric. You must recognize your side has always been wrong about climate.

    https://i.postimg.cc/KvGRb8s1/100y-SN-vs-30y-Had-SST3.jpg

    You are in denial that you have been defeated and must now surrender to the truth that the sun has always controlled the climate.

    • Correction: it is 109y SN vs 30y SST3

      https://i.postimg.cc/C1pbsVMb/109y-SN-vs-30y-Had-SST3.jpg

      There’s no getting around it – you in academia got climate change completely wrong.

      So, Stuart Capstick Research Fellow in Psychology, Cardiff University and Julia K. Steinberger Professor in Social Ecology and Ecological Economics, University of Leeds, you need to figure out just how you and so many others came to believe in such groupthink nonsense. You need to apply some psych to yourselves because you’re sick, mentally ill, from believing the wrong thing for so long.

    • Bob
      From my observations the sun does not directly control the climate. The sun’s energy primarily enters the oceans. It is the distribution of that heat by the oceans, and most importantly it is the timing and volume of equatorial convection that controls the global climate.
      Regards

      • Martin, I would agree that the oceans drive much of what we call “climate.” But the sun provides particle forcing and electric current activity as well, not just irradiance. This controls things like earthquakes (and vulcanism) and cloud formation, which also affects the climate. Indirect or otherwise, the sun is the main driver of everything.

      • The sun’s energy primarily enters the oceans. It is the distribution of that heat by the oceans, and most importantly it is the timing and volume of equatorial convection that controls the global climate.

        Don’t you read my comments? I’ve been demonstrating this for over 5 years here as my complete solar work is based on this idea.

        The ocean’s energy comes from solar insolation integrated over 11 solar cycles, sourced by the flow of tropically sun-warmed waters outward. I hope you can understand graphs

        https://i.postimg.cc/GpyCN4PJ/30y-SST3-v-30-i-MEI.jpg

        https://i.postimg.cc/jSz2LyHc/109y-SN-vs-30y-Had-SST3.jpg

        https://i.postimg.cc/kXrsDC3k/AGU-Fig10.jpg

        The sun directly controls the climate via the tropics.

        If you disagree with me it’s due to your semantics.

  9. “…….. to better communicate the dramatic pace of global warming”, just broke my irony meter.

  10. You’ll never see a cost benefit analysis of anthropogenic CO2. Its always costs with an assumption of negligible benefit and unacceptable risk.

  11. It cannot be denied that the U.K. produces just over one per of global CO2 and therefore nothing we do will make any difference. It cannot be denied that no one is watching our pathetic virtue signalling. It cannot be denied that modern science questions the amount of influence that CO2 has on the weather.

  12. Where on that infantile chart would one put the fact we’re still in the middle of an ice age and the natural state of the world is ice-cap free (except in summer when a large ice capp from Tim Hortons is a must).

  13. “Stop me if you’ve heard this one”.
    Stop!
    Because you’re saying, “promising new technology such as aircraft powered by batteries”. I’ve heard that before, but only from the mouths of crazy climate alarmists.

    It’s an unconscious projection of their own fantasy into the hypothetical “denier’s” mind. When in reality the, so labelled, “denier” will be highly skeptical of the promise of battery technology, because you know, physics and chemistry.

    You’d think psychology experts would have spotted that one.

  14. It seem to me it is the alarmist side that continually changes tactics, the sceptics are remarkably consistent and eveidence based. The alarmists continually change the goalposts, timelines, tipping points etc to suit their narratives. The sceptics only change to address the latest round of BS.

    • “It seem to me it is the alarmist side that continually changes tactics, the sceptics are remarkably consistent and evidence based.”

      That’s right.

      The real problem for those trying to convince others to take action to modifiy the Earth’s weather is there is no evidence that humans are causing the Earth’s climate to change. No matter how many psychological ploys the alamrist use, it won’t change the fact that they can’t prove what they claim about the Earth’s atmosphere and CO2.

  15. There is no climate crisis: CLINTEL
    There will be no economic setback due to climate change: Nordhaus and Tol
    Climate sensitivity is low:Lewis, Curry, Spencer, Shaviv

  16. This is what Lufthansa has to say to pilots about acting on impulse (urgency in this case).
    “The chance of saving the day by spontaneous reaction is extremely remote. The chance of catapulting yourself into deepest trouble is very high.”
    Although this quote is from Lufthansa it is a truism expressed throughout aviation.

  17. These pseudo academics are dangerous. They ought to be locked up. The only mitigating circumstances are that one is from Cardiff and the other from Leeds.

  18. There’s so much re-framing of this issue it’s ridiculous.

    These clowns pick and choose their own opinions and spin them as facts, which renders anyone who disagrees or even questions their orthodoxy as deniers.

    Of course the whole point of this diversionary arm-waving is to distract everyone from the FACT they still haven’t shown any proof that supports clams of high climate sensitivity, which in turn means there’s no climate crisis.

  19. Some psychologists are the worst people to debate. They will use their ‘superior’ expertise in understanding sanity to attack not the content of an opposing argument but the mental capability of their opponent. It is the most destructive form of bullying and impossible to counter. I am a psych and have seen it in action.

  20. When all this contemptible nonsense has gone away, as it will, the subject of social psychology is going to have to take a long hard look at itself. As things are, the subject is a plaything for any power base that wishes to disempower and despise its opponents. The Climate Industrial Complex is in charge at the moment, but after that, what? Xi? Google? A new ‘Scientific Marxism’? Or a social psychology we could begin to respect again?

  21. And, for any ambitious young students out there, I add this: the co-opting of social psychology by the machinery of the Climate Industrial Complex would make a very interesting study in the psychology and process of totalitarianism, of any kind.

  22. Wow, what a steaming pile these two quackademics (of the caeli clamitor stultus ideologus fictus academicus variety) have churned out. As usual for True Believers and Climate Liars, they employ a number of logical fallacies. Notice the pretense, by the mere wave of the hand, that Skeptics or Climate Realists no longer exist (Wishful Thinking fallacy), or are too few to matter (Argumentum ad populum). This is the tactic that St. Greta the Retard recently employed. The implication is that the “debate is over” (Wishful Thinking again), and that “the Science” (Argument from Authority and Consensus) is so unassailable that even “deniers” (Ad Hominem) have given up (again, WT). Of course, their entire thesis is based on the Strawman, which their ilk just love.
    Indeed, the argument (if you can call it that) these two have brought forth is so wrought with logical fallacies and outright lies that only those who are already imbecilic True Believers could possibly be swayed by it.

  23. WTF? Social Ecology? These aren’t academics. They are from a clown school. Neither one of those idiots has taken a useful math or science course in their life. Who cares what they say?

  24. I have gone nowhere and changed nothing, denial of their concocted bullshyte is easy and always will be. Publicly pointing out their political agenda is all it takes. If they actually want to convince people they will have to strip the leftist ideology out of their “science”. That will never happen, it is all they have.

  25. Imagine if they put all this time, thought and effort into figuring out why their computer models don’t work.

  26. The oldest, best run, safest French nuclear plant closed by French President Micron.

    Who is in “denial”?

    • Lleadership seems to be seriously lacking in too many nations.

      As the old saying goes: “Without [good] leadership, the People perish.”

  27. The policies they propose will fail and, in fact, are failing in the short term in ways that dramatically reduce the quality of life of those affected and which will bring carnage to the environment. I suspect many of the advocates know this and, therefore know that they can’t be sustained in a democratic political environment where voters can fire the idiots that take food off the table. So if they really think this will be successful in the long run then they are counting on neutralizing or suspending democracy. That may be the scariest part of all of this, and the fact that they have so many wealthy, powerful and influential supporters should wake us all up to the fact we are at war with forces intent on destroying modern society.

  28. The continual re-framing of the Alarmist argument is one indication of many that we’re winning, and they know it. They are running scared.

  29. They did not mention mine. I had to deliver 95% accuracy of timing and 100 % accuracy of what happens. When climate scientists can better that as they are so much more highly paid and respected than engineers I will take their pronouncements seriously but till then to me they are just a bunch of self opinionated anal orifices. As for putting time and effort into finding out why their computer models do not work independently all five of us took under quarter of an hour to spot the major defect that a weather network designed explicitly not to give general temperature information but designed to reproduce agricultural conditions is not going to be useful as input for a model requiring climate data. The input error and uncertainty is at least three times the supposed changes.

  30. This nonsense from Capstick and Steinberger prompted three different thoughts.
    The first was disbelief that academics were happy to waste their time constructing some rationale as to why politicians, media commentators and industry spokespeople should bother making excuses about delays in tackling climate change. Personally, I have no interest in what media commentators have to say about climate change. Politicians say far too much, without any clue about what they are talking about. Industry spokespeople covers such a wide range that I shall pass on that.
    The second thought was that our authors also do not know what they are talking about. The phrase, “climate denial”, immediately signals their ignorance. They are not aware that science has progressed and that natural climate drivers are more important than previously estimated and much more important than greenhouse gas emissions. Solar irradiation of our planet is modulated by solar cycles and factors that influence cloud formation. Climate models, which cannot adequately deal with such effects, are not fit for purpose.
    The third thought was that if the trio referred to by the academics had any intelligence, then they would try to distance themselves from the madness of tackling so called climate change. They would know that intermittent renewable energy sources are not an answer to anything. Electric vehicles require batteries that do not have the materials required and do not have the infrastructure to charge them or even the electricity to supply the infrastructure. Hydrogen fuel is an inefficient joke, carbon capture is a fantasy. In this respect, then the academics would be right.
    But they would not be right for the right reasons. They would still not understand what they are talking about.

  31. Let’s look at this the other way up. Haste in pursuing green solutions is economic and eco suicide. Consider the folly of early investment in wind and solar at eye-watering costs, or of pushing undesirable mercury containing CFL lighting instead of waiting for the development of LEDs (which still has further to go for high CRI, long life, reasonable output at reasonable cost). Making energy expensively green offshores manufacturing to China, killing jobs, increasing vulnerability – and worst of all results in higher emissions on a global basis.

  32. There is a movement, slowly growing, in the UK that tertiary education has become a disaster. Universities were expanded in the 1980/90s and have sprung up like toadstools.

    It is slowly dawning on politicians that departments with anything with “studies” in their names are a waste of space and that we should turn our “universities” back into technical colleges that do something useful. This is starting in Australia with substantially lower fees for STEM courses and may slowly spread to the UK (or even the US, hopefully).

  33. I am gobsmacked that there are people who believe that airliners could ever be battery powered. It is physically impossible for a battery to store sufficient power while being small and light enough to replace kerosene in a plane. Batteries have 2 electrodes separated by an electrolyte. The electrolyte has to be sufficiently semi-conductive to prevent arcing. Lithium ion batteries are already pushing that boundary, yet even a tiny imperfection can see them burst into flame as internal arcing occurs. Electric planes may be possible, but the power supply will not be batteries. I see it as possibly a nuclear device because of the high energy density contained in uranium.

  34. Have you noticed how many psychologists sound crazy ! Or else in total denial of the real world.

  35. “According to British academics, climate deniers have not gone away, they have just changed tactics”.

    Why don’t these so called British academic dipsticks produce the science that explains exactly how global warming due to CO2 actually works. I say old chaps, pip pip, get to it. The term hollow vessels looms large.

  36. Why are so many academics foolish? Well, it’s because they’ve always been sheltered. In order to become a university professor, you have to have b een born with unusual advantages, like a monster IQ score, and a near-limitless capacity to please teachers and professors. You also have to have had parents or other benefactors with the money to pay for your education. Someone with those advantages really doesn’t know too much about enduring the real pain and fear of running a business, or reporting to work where you have to produce measurable results. One oilfield roughneck produces more real benefit for more real people in one year of his working life than a faculty lounge full of professors does in a decade, but the professors don’t know that, and can’t know it because they are certain they are producers of great value.

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